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Barnet FC chairman says club will pay for CPZ in Harrow
Barnet FC’s chairman has pledged to pay for parking permits for residents living around the Edgware ground where they will play home games from next year.
Speaking to the Harrow Times , Tony Kleanthous said that the club had set aside £15,000 to pay for the implementation of a controlled parking zone (CPZ) around The Hive Football Centre in Prince Edward Playing Fields.
Harrow Council agreed on Thursday to the club’s request to play their home matches at the ground – currently a training facility – from the beginning of the 2013/14 season. Homeowners in the area have criticised the plans because they believe it will cause parking chaos on match days.
But Mr Kleanthous said: “We are a family club, and there are understandable concerns that people have. We are not looking to do anything that will cost the residents more money – that’s not our intention.
“People shouldn’t have to pay to park outside their own home just because of us – that’s not right.”
The council promised to set up a scrutiny body made of representatives from the club, council and community to monitor the impact of the move and address concerns, and Mr Kleanthous said he wanted it to be led by residents.
He added that now approval had been given he was confident that the 44-acre site could be developed so the half-finished stadium started by Wealdstone FC in 2004 would be completed by the time the 2013/14 season starts.
He said: “If all the loose ends are tied up with the lease and with the residents, then we will meet the timeline – I’m certain of that.
“Harrow Council have managed to do in a few months what I’ve been trying to do for 20 years in Barnet, I’ve got a lot of respect for how they do business.”
Barnet FC must now complete the 5,176-seater stadium and fulfil the existing planning conditions on the land, and have been given an initial ten-year lease to play games at the centre – the minimum requirement by the Football League.
The Harrow Times was given exclusive access by Barnet FC to The Hive earlier this week, which is in the final stages of a £4million redevelopment with a new gym, bar, changing facilities and offices set for completion next week.
The gym and pitches – both natural grass and artificial – will be open to the community to use alongside the team’s players and staff.